Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)

Q. What is EAB?
A. EAB is an insect that attacks and kills ash trees. The adults are small, iridescent green beetles that live outside of trees during the summer months. The larvae are grub or worm-like and live underneath the bark of ash trees. Trees are killed by the tunneling of the larvae under the tree’s bark.

Q. Where is EAB?
A. EAB is native to eastern Asia but was discovered in Detroit, Michigan, and Windsor, Ontario, in 2002. Indications are it may have been introduced to this area as early 1990. EAB has been spread in ash firewood, nursery stock and possibly other ash materials to a number of new areas. EAB is in Minnesota, St. Paul Metro area, and Wisconsin.

Q. Why should I care about EAB?
A. EAB kills ash trees. All ash trees are susceptible to EAB and millions of ash trees have been killed in infested areas already. Minnesota has one of the highest volumes of ash on forestland in the U.S. with an estimated 867 million forestland ash trees and ash is a prominent component of our urban forests as well. The potential economic and environmental impact of losing these trees is substantial. The cost of removing and replacing a single tree can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars – how many ash trees are in your yard?

Q. What should I do if my ash tree is in decline?
• Review diagnostic aids for identifying EAB symptoms.
• Look into resources on maintaining tree health.
• Consult a local tree expert such as a certified arborist or local extension person.

Some other points about treatment to consider:
• Treatment should be considered primarily to prevent the infestation of healthy trees that have high personal value.
• The decision of which of the three insecticide treatments (Trunk injection, sprays, and soil applications) for treating ash trees to use should be guided by a Certified Arborist.
• Even long-term professional treatment costs less than removing and replacing whole trees.
• The products available to homeowners in stores do not contain enough of the active ingredient to adequately protect trees. Check out this Fact Sheet for more information.
• There is no stopping the spread of the EAB, conservation and treatment can only slow down the spread.

Useful and Informative Links for More Information:
“Do I Have Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)?” from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.
“What You Need to Know” from the University of Minnesota Extension Service. https://www.mda.state.mn.us/eab
“Frequently Asked Questions” from http://www.emeraldashborer.info (hosted by Michigan State University) for those who want to know more.
“EAB Insecticide Fact Sheet” also from EmeraldAshBorer.info

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